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From The Wit and Humor of America, edited by Marshall P. Wilder, Volume IV, New York and London: Funk and Wagnalls and Company, 1911; pp. 650-651.




If ever you should go by chance
     To jungles in the East,
And if there should to you advance
     A large and tawny beast —
If he roar at you as you’re dyin’,
     You’ll know it is the Asian Lion.

If, when in India loafing round,
     A noble wild beast meets you,
With dark stripes on a yellow ground,
     Just notice if he eats you.
This simple rule may help you learn
     The Bengal Tiger to discern.

When strolling forth, a beast you view
     Whose hide with spots is peppered;
As soon as it has leapt on you,
     You’ll know it is the Leopard.
’T will do no good to roar with pain,
     He’ll only lep and lep again.

If you are sauntering round your yard,
     And meet a creature there
Who hugs you very, very hard,
     You’ll know it is the Bear.
If you have any doubt, I guess,
     He’ll give you just one more caress.

Whene’er a quadruped you view
     Attached to any tree,
It may be ’tis the Wanderoo,
     Or yet the Chimpanzee.
If right side up it may be both,
     If upside down it is the Sloth.

Though to distinguish beasts of prey
     A novice might nonplus;
Yet from the Crocodile you may
     Tell the Hyena, thus:
’Tis the Hyena if it smile;
     If weeping, ’tis the Crocodile.

The true Chameleon is small —
     A lizard sort of thing;
He hasn’t any ears at all
     And not a single wing.
If there is nothing on the tree
     ’Tis the Chameleon you see.

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